Real Work, Real Life

Government and U.S. Air Force

November 29, 2023 Emily Sampson Episode 40
Government and U.S. Air Force
Real Work, Real Life
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Real Work, Real Life
Government and U.S. Air Force
Nov 29, 2023 Episode 40
Emily Sampson

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Welcome to Real Work, Real Life where I talk to real people about what they do for work and what that means for their lives. Today I’m talking with Tim Murphy, a veteran who retired from the Air Force after 30 years and now works for the government in security. Working in the Armed Forces and for the government are distinct in so many ways from the private sector, so we talk  a lot about that since the vast majority of my other guests have worked in the private sector. We cover than and so much more, I can’t wait to share this discussion with you. So let’s get into it!

Tim mentions that he’s publishing a book soon! You can find out more about it here:

If you're interested in working for the U.S. government:

If you like the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify  (linked below) and please share with a friend! You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Tiktok. And if you’d like to be interviewed here, or there is a particular job you’d like to learn about, please reach out at


Transcripts are now available here: 

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to Real Work, Real Life where I talk to real people about what they do for work and what that means for their lives. Today I’m talking with Tim Murphy, a veteran who retired from the Air Force after 30 years and now works for the government in security. Working in the Armed Forces and for the government are distinct in so many ways from the private sector, so we talk  a lot about that since the vast majority of my other guests have worked in the private sector. We cover than and so much more, I can’t wait to share this discussion with you. So let’s get into it!

Tim mentions that he’s publishing a book soon! You can find out more about it here:

If you're interested in working for the U.S. government:

If you like the show, please rate and review on iTunes and Spotify  (linked below) and please share with a friend! You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Tiktok. And if you’d like to be interviewed here, or there is a particular job you’d like to learn about, please reach out at


Transcripts are now available here: 

Tim Government Air Force

[00:00:00] Welcome to real work, real life, where I talk to real people about what they do for work and what that means for their lives. Today. I'm talking with Tim. A veteran who retired from the air force after 30 years. And now works for the government insecurity. Working in the armed forces and for the government are so distinct in so many ways from the private sector. 

So we talk a lot about that since the vast majority of my other guests have worked in the private sector. We covered that and so much more. I can't wait to share this discussion with you, so let's get into it.

Emily: Thank you so much for being here, Tim.

Tim: Thank you for having me. I'm excited about this.

Emily: So what do you do for work?

Tim: Well, I work for the government in security. It's a big office. We have information security, personal security, and physical security all in the one office that does everything for the building that I work in. What my job is, is. Protection of classified information saves [00:01:00] storage, things like that.

We got another person that does all the contracts in the building. All the security for the contracts. We've got another person that when your clearance comes up, a person's clearance comes up, they will do the background, start that process. And then we got another person that works in a building that does lights, cameras, action, basically.

Emily: Oh my gosh, that's so interesting. So what interests you about it initially? How did you get into this line of work?

Tim: I'm retired air force after 30 years. And the majority of my Air Force career, I did a lot of this. , when I was in Japan, worked at a classified area. When I was in Germany, I worked in a classified area. When I was at one of my stateside assignments, I worked in a classified area that did these things.

So that's where my background came from in this. And I find it very interesting.

Emily: Wow. Yeah, absolutely. So you went into the Air Force. [00:02:00] Did you pursue any college before that? Or Did you go straight from sort of high school to the Air Force?


Tim: Oh, no, I graduated high school and floundered around, did odd jobs, mowed, construction, you name it. I pretty much did it work grocery stores deliver newspapers and just then I decided that joined the military. One of the reasons when I was doing construction, all the guys that were at the construction site were older than I was.

And they said if I had joined the military, I'd be retired by now, I'd be drawing a pension, I could have been working on something else, you know, and had benefits and things like that. So that stuck with me, and that was one of the reasons, just taking that sage advice from people that was older than me.

And I didn't join the Air Force until I was 25 years old.

Emily: Oh, wow. Oh, that's so interesting. So, you were in the Air Force and you did stay on until you retired, you said, right? So, did you find [00:03:00] that the transition to civilian life was easy or challenging? 

Tim: I found that the choice of joining the Air Force and sticking with it, making it a career, was... My calling, I guess, in a way for that time in my life, that chapter at that time, uh, joined for four years, I was not going to reenlist. And when that four years came up, I had put in resumes, tried to get a job and couldn't get one.

And so it was like, I've got a job here. I can't leave it until I have another one. So I signed up this time for six years, stayed with it. And then after that, it would just, a no brainer 

from that point on. 

Emily: do you have to do 20 years in order to retire with a pension? Is that typically how it goes?

Tim: Yes unless uh, you're medically retired or something like that. If the, the military needs to cut people, sometimes they will pay [00:04:00] out. But it's, it's nothing, it's a small penance when you actually look at it, when you get taxed and things like that. But. Yeah, 20 years I ended up staying 30. I made it to the top of the enlisted rank, and so I loved it and stayed on, and that, again, networking is another thing that I guess I should say is one of the reasons I was able to get into the government job that I got Now.

was through networking and through that 30 year career, knowing people in different places and people standing up saying, hey, he does a good job. It would be a good hire to pick him up. But in my career field, when I was in the, as an air force. I was a security forces, basically, that's military police.

And a lot of people will come into that and then get out and go into, you name the law enforcement agency and people go into it.

Emily: Oh, sure. I could [00:05:00] see that sort of pipeline from military service into, police and, and other jobs like that. So did you find that it was fairly easy to find a job in your field once you retired from the Air Force? You mentioned having the good experience with networking. Did that help that transition?

Tim: It did in several different ways. When I retired, I'd had enough of military work. I didn't want to go on a military installation again. I wanted to do something totally different.

And so I took a couple of sales jobs and I know I didn't answer your earlier question there about the transition out, was it good or difficult?

And I think I was, institutionalized basically like a person coming out of prison. I was institutionalized after 30 years of doing things a certain way and, and being that, so no, a transition at first was not easy.

And so I went in and did some sales jobs [00:06:00] and didn't fare out good. I had the personality and things like that, but I was asked to do certain things.

That I did not agree with and being in the military and being at the highest enlisted rank, you can tell your boss, I'm not doing that.

Emily: Mm hmm.

Tim: civilian world, when you get into a job, it doesn't go good for you when your boss asks you to do something, you say, I'm not going to do that. You know, it's against rules and

Emily: Right.

Tim: covers operational security things and violates that.

So I wouldn't do some of the things I was asked to do. And so I was let go

Emily: Oh, my gosh.

Tim: It happens. One of the things they say when you retire take the job that you can quit and then take the job that you want. So maybe I really did take the jobs that I could quit even though I didn't get quit. I got fired. But then when I got. And [00:07:00] applied for the government job and got hired. Once again, I was back around my kind lot of retired military work, government jobs.

They, there are a few that just go right into the government work and don't go via the military. But the majority of them are, and the camaraderie and the stories and the backgrounds are all the same.

You know, like, we all went through basic training, we all got screened we all deployed, so you had that.

And then when I was in those sales jobs, nobody had been in the military.

Emily: Yeah. Yeah. I think that is something that is sort of undervalued when we think about Work that being around people that you kind of, I don't know, can get along with, have some similar experiences to can see eye to eye, however you want to think about it can really make your working life a lot richer and easier, especially probably as you go further [00:08:00] along in your career.

So I'm glad you found a good next step after, you know, some searching.

Tim: Well, thank you, I appreciate that. Like I said, it's all worked out, and even the short time I did in sales I picked up experiences that I'll cherish and I believe will help me.

Emily: That's such a good perspective that even when you have those really challenging experiences, you usually, ideally, you get something out of it, even if that something is really painful. So I think that's a good perspective to share, certainly.

Tim: Right, it's Like I did mention earlier, the going through basic training that sometimes can be painful being screamed at, disciplined, and especially when you first get there and you don't know what to expect and, your first night, is scary sometimes for some people.

Emily: Yeah, I'm sure. I mean, character building, I guess, but yeah, absolutely. It's scary. And you know, I guess it's sort of nice to hear people say that [00:09:00] openly because I'm sure there's lots of people that, could maybe feel embarrassed about being scared or something, but yeah, it's a very human reaction to a really challenging situation.

Tim: Oh, exactly. I came out of the heels. You can probably tell by my French accent that I'm not from around these parts. like I said, I joined at 25, and that was the first time I'd ever been on an airplane.

And, and 

Emily: Oh my gosh.

Tim: yes, exactly,

Emily: You joined the Air Force without ever having been on an airplane? 

Tim: right.

My country folk, they're, they're clannish. They stay in the same place. I've got people back home that never wanted to leave the county. That they grew up in is like, why everything I need is right. There's nothing out there. They don't go see anything or anything like that. And, but being in the military really did change me.

There's a[00:10:00] a strike difference between me and my immediate family, because that don't leave and I will stick with the country folks and country folks. It doesn't have to, they don't have to be from the South. They can be from New York, Washington state.

Emily: Every state has its country, folks. 

Tim: Exactly. And so they're clannish.

They're, family members are their social network. They're, at least I, I will talk a personal experience. I'll put it that way. 

My values and the way I seen the world was the same as my grandfather's.

And so going into the military, I learned a lot seeing people differently. And it again, really changed my life for the better

Emily: Yeah, it opened up your, broadened your horizons. You know, that's amazing. What a great experience. 

Tim: and got to see the world.

Emily: So kind of getting back to the field you work in now, what sort of personality do you think does well in that job?

Tim: All kinds.

One of the [00:11:00] things real quick that a lot of people, when you talked to them about joining the military, Oh, I can't take orders. I

can't take orders. So basically, you're never going to work, even when you work at McDonald's, you've

got to take orders when you work at Kmart, you've got to take orders.

So basically what you're telling me is you're never going to have a job. And what happens in the military, I have found a lot of the people that Are not good at taking orders. You know, they'll get in there and they do, but they'll buck the system a little bit and they help change things. 

But a lot of times the folks that don't take instructions, good, actually fare out very good in the military. And my personal experience, I will tell you it may not sound like it with my Devon air coming across here. At the time I joined the military. I was painfully shy. And that has to do with my upbringing and some other things, but I was painfully [00:12:00] shy, I couldn't give a silent prayer in a phone

and so when I talked on the radio

and would respond to incidents and stuff, they couldn't hear me cause I talked so soft, I went to a military school, you know, a lot of folks in there that bravado and do excellent, but again, all kinds in my career field to be a military police, but you had to look ahead and see, this is where, if I want to go to this level, I need to do these things.

So they send us to military training schools, professional military education. One of my first schools, I had to give three speeches. I couldn't do it. I almost failed the school because of it.

Emily: Wow

Tim: speech when I would give the speech, nobody could hear me. The person in the front row couldn't hear me. So, my last speech, I was, I got pulled aside and got counseled and everything. So, my last [00:13:00] speech, it was horrible, but I passed and they seen that I tried because I started hollering. And

though everybody could hear me exactly almost with my eyes closed, though, yes, I just hollered that speech out past the school.

And that's when I come up again with the. If I'm going to get to this level, I need to look at all the people that are that level and see what they're doing. And so then I need to perfect those skills. Part of those skills was public speaking. So I went to Toastmasters.

Emily: so did you have a good experience at Toastmasters?

Tim: Yes, I would, I would recommend it for anybody that has public speaking in their job. If they give presentations at staff meetings. Anything like that, even, even salespeople, I would recommend that a salesperson would go, should, needs to go through [00:14:00] Toastmasters. I found it very beneficial. it's a friendly environment, a good place to fail

because you don't get ridiculed and made fun of.

Did you hear what Tim said? You know.

It's positive feedback and you can improve and do better you can't tell it from my talking now, but they do count your uhs and ums and things like that and point those out to you.

Emily: That's great. Yeah. I mean, public speaking is a true skill and it's one that you can build. 

So what do you make now and what do your other benefits look like in the job you have today?

Tim: I'm a uh, GS 11 getting ready to be promoted into GS 12 and all that is public information that can go online with my staff and everything. I'm right at 67, 000 a year. The benefits are basically the same. That's in the military. One of the good things about retiring from [00:15:00] military. I got my medical got my insurance.

With this job here, there's medical comes with that. So like we'd talked about earlier, the people that were not former military that came into the government, they've got benefits, dental, eye death, all, all the same benefits pretty much.

it's, it's a good deal. 

Emily: Yeah, so that's, I think that's an interesting thing to note that people might not know about is that government jobs have, very clear structures around pay. Is there sort of a, a pay band that you could be on the high end or the low end, or is it even more strict than that, that it's the number, you know, is sort of the same and published all across the

Tim: It it's the number it's you can just type in GS 11 on line and pick it out and you will find it.

And all GS makes the same and then what there is there steps 1 through 10 and then once you get to 10, that's pretty much it. But now. [00:16:00] After evaluation time, the same thing would happen to us.

Well, it was different in the military. We do our annual evaluations, but we didn't get bonuses. We just got paid for our ranks. in the government. At your annual performance reports and you submit them and you get those approved, you can get bonuses and that can be set up on how your work went that year.

Did you meet your goals? anD how did you perform? Did you stay out of trouble? And so you can get bonuses. So that's, that's a good thing too.

Emily: Oh, that's good to know. Thank you. Thank you. So... Would you mind talking about what your pension looks like combined with that? are you collecting your pension also now, or do you wait and do that until you're completely retired? 

Tim: The way the program that I joined under the military, I get my pension now I have to retire and I get 50 percent of my base pays cause I stayed to 30 [00:17:00] years

but the bad thing uh, this is kind of I'm divorced and. The way that military system is set up, it's not a given, but it happens to the majority of the people.

The ex spouse, gets a portion of that retirement. So like right now, I'm not making my full retirement. 

My spouse, my ex spouse gets one third

of my retirement. 


Emily: hmm.

Tim: the military people were fighting that all the time. That's a kind of a 1950s model of when the spouses stayed home, while the military person did the, the job and deployed and went to war.

That's what was going on, and the, and the spouse stayed home, took care of the house, the children, things like that. Nowadays, that is not the, American family, lot of times, both spouses are outside the house[00:18:00] working, both of them have degrees but it's an old system

Emily: Mm hmm. So that's all the time that happens regardless of what like

Tim: it doesn't happen all the time. I've got friends that That did not have to do that. And sometimes the agreement. If they're both military, they see there's no benefit to that and they will agree to leave each other's retirements alone.


so there's a reason they're the ex, you know, so. 

Emily: So, but kind of going back to the general idea of if You were to, join the armed forces and stay through retirement and then some, you could find yourself, you know, with a lot of working years ahead of you, able to

collect the pension that you earned at the same time as you're working. So that's kind of a nice, thing to consider that, you know, of course, I don't want to take it all away from the sacrifices you made in their services, but if it works for you to stay [00:19:00] for a long period of time, you could have this whole second career where your income is subsidized or boosted by your pension as well.

Tim: Right. And that is the attractive thing about going through the military, then getting a government job and retiring. So there's your two retirements. I retired from the air force. I get that pension.

I will retire for my government job. I will get a pension from that, but it won't be very big. But when I age out, I'll get social security.

So I will be drawing in three paychecks.

 But ladies and gentlemen, I am not a sugar dad. Okay. Let's just put that out there right now. 

Emily: If anyone was 

Tim: me up. 

Emily: looking, that's 

Tim: Yeah, no, that is not what I'm here for. I just won't get, I need to get that out on the table right now. Don't start hunting me down.

Emily: I was so glad that you got that clearly on the table. I appreciate that. I'll just I'll make sure to keep that in the recording.

so, okay, so [00:20:00] that's great. That's really helpful. Thinking about Location usually I'm sort of asking people if they're working on site or if there are particular hubs for this type of work, but you've probably been all over the place in your career.

Have you felt like you had a decent amount of control over the locations? You worked particularly as your career progressed or have you really had to move for different? roles. I'm sure within the Air Force, you had to move but even in your current job, did you have a lot of control over where you lived or did you move where the jobs were?

Tim: Well, I retired out of Virginia, and a lot of government jobs are in that area, and I thought about staying there and working and getting a job there, and the traffic out there was just horrendous, and so I moved. I'm now located in Colorado, and so I moved out here because I've been stationed out here before, and I loved it, so I moved out here.

But [00:21:00] remember, I had the sales job 1st, but the government jobs here, there are certain places, DC is 1 of them. That's heavy here in Colorado and Denver, Colorado Springs area. There's heavy government jobs. And in Texas at San Antonio, Randolph in those places, there's a lot of government jobs, but they are all over where I'm living at now.

Love it out here. And it just, it just all worked out.

Emily: Yeah, that's great. I, I you definitely, your mind goes right to Virginia when you think of government jobs, but certainly they're all over. Are you able to work remotely at all in your job or is it a strictly in person job? 

Tim: Real quick, I did want to finish up on that last

question, is that transferring my job is all over the world. So, if I wanted to work overseas and apply for one of those jobs, if I got picked up, I could move and go back overseas and work on a military base and live there and [00:22:00] experience that. So, the jobs are all over.

so, it does tend to be able to transfer if you want to. 

Emily: Yeah. Oh, that's 

Tim: So

yes, it's very good stuff. I believe that it's a path that folks should very seriously look into.

Emily: Yeah, absolutely. So actually, that, that's a good point. I should have gone into this a little bit further earlier on, but you know, it sounds like particularly in, in your line of work, there's a lot of people that go into the military first and work that, but let's say somebody was graduating high school and they wanted to have the job you have now.

What sort of certification or background or, you know, if there's, it would be any college education, what sort of background would be a good place to start?

Tim: Well, even for my job I've got a degree in law enforcement. I did law enforcement and I'm doing security in a government building, but that is not a requirement. I've got a lady, my cube mate that works [00:23:00] right next to me. HAs zero law enforcement, does not have a law enforcement degree, but she applied and just got picked up.

Now as for certifications and things like that, it would make you look a little bit more Attractive if you had the certifications for whatever series jobs you want to go into because there's in the government again, there's admin, there's operations, there's intelligence, and all those are different career fields and different series numbers and all of them require different things.

But sticking with my particular career field, there are certifications that Nowadays, if you get hired, they require you to get it within your first two years. but if a person really wanted to go out and work on trying to get them, they could. And again, all that's online, SPED courses. They just need to look that look up in the GS world that be able [00:24:00] to find it in anything.

It's all open source, but I don't really think I'd recommend anybody to do that. It's a lot of study and you got to go take a test and pass. But if you did and you got past it, because you would be taking these tests that are on job specific questions, like lighting for a weapon storage area, fencing, the alarms, alarms on the door, how far should the door open before the alarm goes off,

how to change a combination.

What how do you protect this a piece of classified? So I, I really wouldn't recommend going out doing that till you got hired. Then you have two years. To get the certifications and in that time, you can actually work the job study and get that knowledge that way.

Emily: Yeah, so is a college or some college degree required or not?

Tim: [00:25:00] Yes, it would a college degree. Always makes you look more attractive when you're going into the government jobs, even in the. The Air Force, I will put this out here, put a plug for their force. Their forces only service that. offers an associate's degree for its enlisted people. You still have to go to school, get your basics, your English, your math and things like that, but the core subjects and then get your others and you can get an associate's degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

And that's the only service that does it.

Emily: Wow. that's nice.

Tim: Yes, it is. And so a lot of times people will start out with their associate's degree and then they'll get it. And then there's like, oh, I can just keep going because all the services help with the education of their people because an educated workforce is not a stale workforce.

You want your people to be educated and so they will go on and then again, that makes them look more [00:26:00] attractive. So, yes, even if a high school person would just go out and get get their associates degree

and then get on USA jobs today. And apply 

Emily: that's a good tip and it's nice to hear that It seems like, government jobs, there's really a lot there that's trying to keep the door open for people of all different backgrounds. I think there's so many different career paths that when you talk to people, there's a lot of hurdles to jump through just to get started that a lot of people would never be able to jump through.

So it's certainly nice to hear, I guess, that government jobs have Some more clear paths of entry than maybe more private sector jobs have.

Tim: and right in our building and a few other government jobs take interns. But again, those interns are college students. and that's the only way you can get into the intern program is be a actual college student. 

Emily: Are [00:27:00] those paid internships? Do you know?

Tim: No, they're not,

but again, it gives them work experience and. That's a resume filler 

Emily: absolutely. 

Tim: And sometimes if the person does. A good job, they can go for an intern to paid employee,

Emily: Sure. Yeah. That chance to kind of prove your stuff before they actually hire you. 

Tim: it also gives the person. The chance to look to see, yes, this is right for me. I'd like to pursue it. Or, oh, no, let me run call the Uber. Now I got to go.

Emily: Oh my gosh. Yeah. I mean, I think of, you know, interviews and internships. it's a chance for both of you to decide if it's the right fit, not just the employer to decide if they want you. 

Tim: Right?

Emily: So what are the hours like for you? You know, what is your Work life balance. Do you feel like you can balance your personal life and your professional life easily? And are there a lot of different schedule options [00:28:00] or is it sort of everyone is working the same schedule? 

Tim: No, everybody doesn't work the same schedule. And you talked about telework

that does happen during Colvin. We always tell the work, 

right now, I tell the work on Monday

Emily: Oh, 

Tim: and Each person in my office has one day a week. They brought people back into the office, but the security office, it is hard to telework when you've got you need to look at the cameras, look at the alarms, things like that, so that is a job that's in the building.

My job is actually in the building. The only reason we was able to telework during COVID is because everybody. Was sent home except for operations. I will tell you that and operations are the people that look at the screens, see what's happening in the world, gather the intel, those jobs there are 24 seven, there's a day shift, [00:29:00] evening shift, and a mid shift.

And so those have to be there. Mission essential. We also have armed guards that are building. Those are mission essential. They have to be there so they don't have the chance to tell a word, but pretty much all the other jobs have the opportunity to tell a word, but that is up to the. Supervisor if 

they want to allow that,

Emily: Yep. That makes a lot of sense. And so, what hours do you work today or what is the schedule that you work today besides the telework piece? 

Tim: I go in around 6 30 of a morning 

and get off at 2 30.

Monday through Friday. I don't work nights. So, yes, I, you know, I did all that when I was in the military. So. It's good to just have this steady Monday through Friday regular job.

 aGain, I go in early because nobody's there and you can look at emails, get [00:30:00] your day planned out. I think everybody that's listening already knows that if you got office, cubicle jobs, things like that. Even though you got your to do list, there's a lot of days you don't get to because of fire of the day, you got to shoot the 25 meter target right in 

the walk ins, but it's good to get in there to clear, look at, and get things organized, even though it may never go that way.

Your day may never go the way you planned it. And that is more often than not, because another one of my jobs is security incidents is when classified has been mishandled or there's been a spillage, which is classified on an unauthorized email.

Emily: Yeah. So that you can't really plan for that, right? That's going to upset any careful planning for the day that you had. So can you talk a little bit more about that? Like beyond the, the hours that you're working, what does a sort of typical day look like for you? What sort of tasks are you working on?

What sort of things are you dealing with? 

Tim: [00:31:00] there's annual reports we've got to do and this is a heavy annual report time. So those taskers will come down to a task management system and you got to work those. You have a suspense. You got to do those. And when those come in, once again, that throws off your. daily schedule, but I'll go in.

Like I said, I'll look through emails what needs to be answered what I can let go. Do my to do list for the day and then when people start rolling into the building, that's when, hey, I've got a classified. A visit coming up, you guys have the names. anD that's when the walk ins come in

and you just have to work those and do the jobs and, and we're all in there in the building.

And one good thing, even though we got individual jobs, we all know each other's jobs also. So if a visitor comes in and, physical security guy is busy. The industrial [00:32:00] person can take that and field those questions. And, but that's by design.

A lot of folks in the government, , they'll say your contractors, especially that's not my job. I don't do that. but. In our office, we've got the mentality. We don't want a one person failure.

So we cross train on each other's job. So we can give that good customer service.

So when somebody comes in, we can answer each other's questions, but try to give a, typical day. It's kind of hard because again, get called out the office a lot for things. Oh, Hey, I need my. Safe combo change. Can you come do that? Even though I try to teach them, hey, do this so you can be self sufficient, but hey, I've got a person that will do it for me.

So I'll call them and come and do it is basically what it amounts to.

we do inspections. Of the workspaces of how they're handling and and taking [00:33:00] care of and doing the security of the building. So then we went to, we get finished with those and we're, and this is again, a heavy part of. The year for that, we get finished, we write the report, send it to the director of that section.

We just finished. You always try to get lunchtime in there, but there are days that lunch doesn't come because you're too busy with the walk ins and the phone calls. And just the unexpected of the day and you just need to be flexible 

Emily: Yeah, well, that's kind of nice, too. I mean, it sounds like your days are not likely to be boring. 

Tim: most of the time. Not 

most of the time. Not, but I didn't give you a real good answer on that 1, but, and I believe my job is just so fluid.

Emily: Yeah.

Tim: And so is pretty much everybody else's in the office also. Especially the physical security guy.

Emily: Oh, I'm sure. No, I mean, I [00:34:00] like the idea that you have so much cross training. it's both good for the organization that they don't have a single point of failure, but it also probably makes it an easier place to work in general because you don't feel like you're the only person that can do particular tasks.

So that's a really nice thing that you all do that.

Tim: Well, and how many times have you or your listeners think about you've went to some place and you've asked for something. Oh Bobby does that. Bobby's not here

Emily: Right. Right. You're like, Oh, there's only one Bobby, I guess. Okay. 

Tim: Right, exactly. What do you do if Bobby gets hit by a bus? 

Emily: Oh, 

Tim: So 

Emily: no. 

Tim: exactly. No, they killed Kenny. Okay. I don't know if you got that

reference, but anyway. Okay, good. Okay, good. So that is that is our mentality in our offices. We don't want 1 person failure because we are a customer service office.

Emily: [00:35:00] So how do you view the prospects in this job? Are there lots of openings and people can kind of jump right in if they were interested in it or is the field fairly saturated and it's tough to get your foot in the door for the initial job?

Tim: No, the field is not saturated. without getting too technical, we've got 2 security offices in our building. The one I work in and then we do have another one. They are very short man. They're having to pull people out of their career field, their, their series that they work in to come in and backfield for their jobs.

They've got an information person. In there, but they take care of very small portion of the building. And right now I'm training their information security guy to be able to do his job because he's never done it before, but no, the career field in security in the government is not oversaturated and there's [00:36:00] jobs all again, USA jobs.

Emily: USA jobs. Okay, I'll certainly put that in the show notes as well so that people can take a look. What are some things you love about your job, especially if you think people might not know or might be surprised to hear?

Tim: well, the people I like dealing with the people. That's something that has kind of I've developed over the years of liking people. Once I become a supervisor in the military, learning people's names and what's going on with their families and things like that. So I could be a better supervisor.

I'm not a supervisor now, but. We have security managers throughout the building that help us because we're a small office. We can't do all the security forever office. So we train the security managers. I love doing that. We also do we have a small portion in Monthly newcomers briefing, we get to do that.

So again, back to the, that [00:37:00] explains the Toastmasters, how that helped out, but to do the training, do those briefings when a new program comes around. Some of your listeners will controlled unclassified information is a new marking system in the military. And so that's part of my job is training on that new system.

One of the DOD manuals is getting ready to change, so that will bring about training. And that puts us out with the workforce and training and again, getting to know the people and building trust because, you know, When something, who wants to go to security and say, Hey, I messed up. Nobody does, but doing the briefings, getting out, doing those things.

That's my favorite part of the job. Again, we can build relations and let people know we're not there to hammer. Yeah. We're there to help. 

Emily: Oh, absolutely. So on the other hand, is there anything that is tough about your [00:38:00] job that either you didn't expect or you just didn't anticipate how challenging it would be?

Tim: again, since a lot of the is made up of military retired military. get a lot of, do you know who I am? And it's like, uh, yes, because they, acted that way in the military and they still think they're carrying that rank around. And so. Got to kind of, you know, politely say, yes, you're Mr.

Smith. Why 

I've met you several times. 


but we get, get a little bit of that. Do you know who I am? Every now and then now with military, the being a military organization, even though I'm in a government job, it's a military organization, the leadership comes and goes about every two years. We get somebody new.

Sometimes you get a good leader. That is proactive and stands behind the job helps you out. And then other times you get somebody that's asleep at the wheel and that time right [00:39:00] there is that's the frustrating times because again, security is not convenient

Emily: right,

Tim: that's what people want. And if you get a.

Leadership that doesn't believe in security, then security laxes and you get more security incidences, which makes me busier and which makes me not be able to get to my to do list of the day. So, that was something I didn't because again, as military police, so everybody had the same mindset as I did.

The whole squadron of, hey, do things right, take care of this. Check your T's dot your I's, cross your T's and use your checklist. And then now you get different career fields pilots and made to top leadership positions. And sometimes they do not have a security mindset, and when they don't, I don't know if you've [00:40:00] ever heard of or read the broken window theory.

That is what happened. Have you read that about it?

Emily: right, yes, I, I've heard of it, yeah, but is it that when there's, you know, small things are broken down, it leads to larger issues. Is that sort of the gist of it or is there, am

Tim: That's no, that's, that's it right there. That is the gist. And you can see it happen when somebody comes in and doesn't care about security.

And because the workforce will take that attitude and start cutting corners and then security incidences up

Emily: Yeah. One thing I wonder. About working in your field. Do you find ever that you are sort of hypervigilant in your personal life about safety things too? Or do you feel on the other hand that you actually feel more, more safe and more confident because you have this background?

Tim: more safe and more confident and again from [00:41:00] being security police in the military, the training they give you deploying a few times with that situation. So, yes, 

Emily: Well, that's good to know.

Tim: does help out.

Emily: Yeah. So what do you want to be doing more of or less of in the next 5 to 10 years?

Tim: Well, that's a, that's a very interesting question. It brings me into a subject. I didn't know that we would cover, but I'm just going to take a opportunity here and do that. I'm retiring very shortly here within the year. And I am in the process of writing a book. I was a long term alcoholic for years.

I got sober in 2014. And what I see myself doing now is helping people find sobriety.

Emily: Oh my gosh. Congratulations on both the retirement, the book, the sobriety. That's amazing.

Tim: Thank you.

Emily: So that's so exciting. So where are you in the process [00:42:00] of writing your book?

Tim: Oh, that's a interesting, another interesting question. I almost had it ready to go and I lost everything. So that really hurt. And so I took a few months off and now I'm back at it. I've got it now that we're, you know, the chapters I'm starting to nest the information up underneath the chapters it belongs in and then clean up.

So within three months, I'll have 


Emily: Oh, my gosh, that's so exciting. Do you want to share the name of it or you're not quite ready to to say it? 

Tim: Seven secret pillars of sobriety AA doesn't work for you.

Emily: That is wonderful. That's so exciting. You have a whole a whole new adventure ahead of you once you retire. 

Tim: That's what life is. An adventure.

Emily: So this is the last question I have for you. What is one piece of advice generally about work that you would give your younger self?

Tim: About work. Do the best job you can. Leave [00:43:00] your drama at the house. When you're at work, you're there to do a job. Don't bring drama into your workplace. Leave that at the door. Put it in the trunk of your car. Whatever. Don't bring it into the job.

Emily: Yep. Absolutely. That is a great piece of advice. Well Tim, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. I really enjoyed this discussion.

Tim: No, I did too. We ought to do this weekly.


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